Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Emile Hirsch, Andi Matichak, Luke David Blumm, Cranston Johnson, Blaine Maye, J Robert Spencer, Rocco Sisto, Kristine Nielsen, Erin Bradley Dangar, Adam Stephenson, David Kallaway
Written by: Ivan Kavanagh
Directed by: Ivan Kavanagh
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 98
Date: 03/05/2021
IMDB

Son (2021)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Spawn Broker

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Generally well-made and well-acted, the horror/thriller Son nonetheless doesn't really work due to a repetitive, fairly predictable storyline, and its many upsetting scenes of a child screaming in pain.

As it begins, a disheveled pregnant woman, Laura (Andi Matichak), appears to be on the run. When her baby starts to come, she screams "I don't want you!" But the baby is born. Years later, Laura seems to be the happy single mom of eight year-old David (Luke David Blumm). One night Laura discovers a group of strange people in David's room, who disappear as quickly as they came.

She calls the police, and a detective, Paul (Emile Hirsch), shows up. Even though he can't find anything, he's sympathetic to her concerns. David suddenly falls very ill, with bruises appearing on his body. Laura leaves him with her neighbor Susan (Erin Bradley Dangar) for a second, but when she comes back, David has torn her open and is drinking her blood. Laura decides to protect her child at all costs and goes on the run. But Paul is determined to find her, and David.

To be sure, Son is evenly-paced, sufficiently gory, and intermittently thrilling. Matichak is authentic as Laura, diving deep into motherly love and the instinct to protect her child under any circumstances, while Hirsch shows a compassionate side that is appealing. However, the movie kicks off with the momentum of a promised chase that it never really keeps up, despite an occasional lurking figure.

Then, it becomes more or less a vampire story, or even vaguely along the lines of something like Little Shop of Horrors, in which the main character must find the least admirable humans to obtain fresh blood to sustain its creation. And with each segment happening more or less the same way, with poor David shrieking "it hurts! It hurts so bad!" each time, it gets a little hard to take.

Add all this to the fact that the opening sequence hangs over the entire story, anticipating that other shoe dropping. When it finally does, it feels too little, too late. Son was a decent try, but its minuses tend to overpower its plusses.

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